Author: Janice Campbell

Happy National Grammar Day!

National Grammar Day, sponsored by The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG), is celebrated annually on March 4. I’m sure that someone somewhere has scheduled an event with party hats and noisemakers. I thought perhaps we’d content ourselves...

Homeschooling High School: Is Outsourcing an Option?

When I talk about homeschooling through high school, I always mention the possibility of seeking outside help for advanced subjects. Although most people understand the reasons behind finding an experienced algebra tutor or writing coach, some parents don’t see it...

The Darkling Thrush by Thomas Hardy (and SAT Essay Prep)

I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter’s dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day. The tangled bine-stems scored the sky Like strings of broken lyres, And all mankind that haunted nigh Had sought their...

Visit Your Library From Home (Count Birds, Too!)

Do you get tired of hearing that the internet has changed everything? It’s pretty much true, you know, and that isn’t a bad thing. For one thing, it brings a wealth of knowledge to your desktop, no matter where you...

Homeschool high school scheduling; some non-traditional options.

High School Scheduling — Some Non-Traditional Options

When was the last time you thought about the best way to schedule your school days? Six subjects, one hour each per day, five days a week — ho hum. Maybe it’s time to ask some questions about scheduling! High school scheduling...

Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins: A Review

Reviewing Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins I have a weakness for books with funny titles — especially if they are about writing, grammar, style, and usage. Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins: The Careful Writer’s Guide to the Taboos, Bugbears and Outmoded Rules of English Usage by...

In order to write better, write more.

Our Students Need to Write More

During the past decade, I’ve spent a fair amount of time evaluating student writing and teaching SAT prep essay workshops and online high school literature classes. I’ve had the chance to read hundreds of papers from students all over the...

High School Requirements: The Wrong Question?

As you consider whether or how to homeschool through high school, there are a few major questions that may crop up. One of the first questions I often hear is about “high school requirements.” Parents wonder how many years of...

Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler's Guide to High School Paperwork is a best-seller!

High School Transcripts — Frequently Asked Questions

Creating a high school transcript is easier than it looks, but there are a few transcript questions that tend to recur like dandelions in springtime. The beginning of the spring semester seems a good time to review a couple of...

Family Travel on a Budget = Great Memories!

I’ve been thinking of Paris in December– it’s almost inevitable if you’ve ever been there at that time. There’s no place quite like it, and the delight of walking miles through this compact, beautiful city is unsurpassed. When we were...

Charlotte Mason on teachers who talk too much.

Charlotte Mason on Teachers Who Talk Too Much

One of the things I most appreciate about Charlotte Mason is her deep understanding of how children learn, and how curiosity and creativity can be stifled by certain teaching norms, including talking too much, being repetitive, and giving tests and...

Pick Two Deluxe game review.

Review: Pick Two Deluxe — A Game Night Favorite

As the year winds down, it’s time to start thinking of fun things to do during the semester break. How about Pick Two Deluxe, a delightful game that almost anyone can learn and enjoy? Our family enjoys playing games. When...

The Collected Poems of George Herbert

Gratefulnesse by George Herbert

“Gratefullness” is one of my favorite poems, and I’m sharing it in honor of Thanksgiving.

Apprenticeships and Skilled Trades Offer an Alternative to College

I often talk about college or entrepreneurial options for homeschool students because that is where most of my personal interest and experience lies. However, there are many other wonderful options to consider, including skilled work in hands-on fields such as...

‘To Autumn’ by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit...

Light affects color in ways you might not expect.

A Science Mystery Solved: Color and Light

We had an unexpected lesson in the science of color and light this past week. Donald graciously used most of his vacation week to paint our kitchen and dining room, and it was one of those snowball projects. We were...

Every Monday is a new beginning: The joy of daily and weekly routines.

Every Monday is a New Beginning

I love Monday — it’s my favorite day of the week!* From the pinnacle of Monday morning, there stretches before me a string of four perfect days at home. From now until Friday, I’m able to focus on home and to be...

The peril of perfectly parsed piffle can challenge a writing evaluator.

Perfectly Parsed Piffle- The Writing Evaluator’s Dilemma

As parent-teachers, we’ve all seen boring writing assignments — a grammatically-correct report that simply paraphrases an encyclopedia entry or a five-paragraph essay that piles one trite cliche on another, and concludes without a glimmer of an original thought. If you’re anything like...

Homework Insanity- This Emperor has No Clothes

Did you see Jeff Opdyke’s column on homework in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal (How Homework Is Hurting Our Family, September 30, 2007)? It was thought-provoking. He vividly described how their family life is “a constant, stress laden stream of homework...

What Does Education Look Like? Part II- Socialization

I came across an article that fit perfectly with this series, as well as with the thoughts I shared on socialization a few weeks ago. I got permission to reprint it for this installment of “What Does (Institutional) Education Look Like?”...

“Remember” by Christina Rosetti

Thinking about September 11…. Remember Christina Rosetti   Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning...

What Does Education Look Like? Part I

What does learning look like? Consider…. Scene 1: Child A sits in a classroom full of children who are just his age. “Today, students,” his teacher announces, “We’re going to learn about chickens.” She unrolls a poster of a giant...

Lightning- Not Again!

You may remember that in February of 2006, our phone line was struck by lightning, and we had to repair or replace most of our electronic items and telephones. We promptly signed up for the electric company’s surge protection program...

Purposeful Planning: A Review

It’s back-to-school planning time! Summer’s winding down, and we’re already preparing to head back into the school year (it’s almost too hot to think of!). Even though the boys are finished with homeschooling, there’s still plenty of schoolwork happening with...

Socialization for Homeschoolers . . . Again

Although homeschooling has become far more mainstream than it was when we first began in the 1980’s, the question of socialization occasionally still pops up. A recent article, “Get Out Much?” by Rachel Barlow, on the Nashoba Publishing website details...

The Barbara Fritchie House and Museum is located at 154 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland.

“Barbara Frietchie” for Independence Day

I’ve always loved this poem for its depiction of the courage of spunky Barbara Frietchie. It doesn’t take place during the American Revolution, but I felt that the sentiment was entirely appropriate for Independence Day. With its simple rhyme scheme and catchy...

Reading “Laddie” (and a Happy Birthday Dinner)

Once things settle down after the June convention and workshops, I always take extra time off for reading and projects. June is birthday month for four of us, so we all feel a bit celebratory. This year, my very sweet...

Homeschooling at the Speed of Life is a great organization and planning book by Marilyn Rockett.

Homeschooling at the Speed of Life — A Review

Homeschooling at the Speed of Life by Marilyn Rockett Reviewed by Janice Campbell As you wrap up the school year and start planning the next, there’s one thing you can do to make your next school year run more smoothly — read...

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields John McCrae In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the...

In the Garden- An 1899 Excerpt

This time of year I am besotted by the garden, and have great difficulty staying indoors for any length of time at all. In fact, anything on my horizon that doesn’t need to be fed or planted seems dim and...

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